Dissertation

International Support for Constitution-Making During and After Armed Conflict

In the past 25 years, numerous countries have adopted or amended their constitution in conflict-related contexts. A majority of these changes were instigated as a part of a conflict resolution process, with active support from external actors. Given the significant influence that these actors can wield in unstable contexts, understanding their influence is all the more important. My project assesses the role that international support for constitution-making can play in preventing conflict recurrence, through its impact on the substance of the constitution. Using cross-national statistical analyses, illustrative case examples, and a detailed case study of Nepal, I assess how different types of international support for constitutional transitions encourage different substantive outcomes. I contend first that international support for conflict-related constitution-making influences constitutional substance indirectly, through peace agreements, as well as directly when international actors support the actual constitutional negotiation process. Since questions about group autonomy, decentralization of power, and federalism often dominate conversations about civil war settlement and long term conflict outcomes, this project focuses specifically on how the constitution addresses these issues.